Palestinian civilians living near Gaza settlements pay the “disengagement” bill

At the edge of the Khan Yunus refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip, crumbling refugee homes face off with the red-roofed seafront villas of the Neve Dekalim settlement. (Arjan El Fassed)


Location: Southern Gaza Strip: al-Mawasi sealed enclave in Khan Yunis and Kissufim settler road near al Qarara. Central Gaza Strip: houses near the evacuated settlement of Kfar Darom. Northern Gaza Strip: al-Sayafa sealed enclave between the evacuated settlements of Dogit and Elli Sinai.

Chronology of Events

IOF have continued to demolish structures in the evacuated settlements in the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank. The demolition process is taking place while a suffocating closure is being imposed on Palestinian communities in the areas close to the evacuated settlements. In addition, IOF have started to dismantle some military facilities in the Gaza Strip and replace them with tanks.

Closures and Curfews

Kissufim Road near al-Qarara

At approximately 12:00 on Saturday, 27 August 2005, an infantry unit of IOF moved nearly 200 meters to the south of “Kissufim” settler road. They raided and searched a house belonging to Mansour Jomai’an al-Sumairi. They held the three residents in one roof and transformed the roof of the house into a military site. IOF left the house in the evening after detonating a sound bomb inside. Residents of the house were extremely terrified.

Al-Mawasi

At approximately 19:00 on Friday, 26 August 2005, IOF positioned in al-Mawasi area in Khan Yunis arrested Haidar ‘Abdullah al-Majadia, 45, when he was in an area at the beach, where Palestinians are permitted to be present. In the meantime, IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on al-Mawasi area since the beginning of the implementation of the “Disengagement Plan.” However, on Friday, 26 August 2005, they reopened al-Tuffah checkpoint at the entrance of the area for a few hours, allowing entering some food stuffs into the area, but they did not allow Palestinian civilians to cross the checkpoint.

Houses near the Evacuated Settlement of Kfar Darom

At approximately 16:15 on Saturday, 27 August 2005, an infantry unit of IOF moved into al-Ma’ni sealed enclave. They forced the 36 residents (5 families) of a house belonging to Ahmed Suleiman al-Ma’ni out and held them in front of it. Then, they raided and searched the house using one of the residents as a human shield.

Al-Sayafa

IOF have continued to impose a tightened siege on al-Sayafa area. On Thursday evening, 25 August 2005, IOF allowed 4 Palestinian civilians to exit the area to bring some foodstuffs. In the past three days, IOF raided and searched Palestinian houses in the area.

For the second consecutive week, IOF have continued to close Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip and Abu Houli and al-Matahen checkpoints on Salah al-Din Street (the main road between the south and north of the Gaza Strip). The two checkpoints are opened for a few hours at night. IOF have also continued to close a number of the main and branch roads in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the current Intifada.

International Law

Settlements and settlers are illegal under international law. The Fourth Geneva Convention, the primary document governing the OPT, stipulates in Article 49 that the transfer of the population of the occupying power into the occupied territory is in breach of international law. The International Court of Justice confirmed in its 2004 judgment that settlements and settlement activity is illegal.

Freedom of movement is a right afforded to Palestinian civilians under the Fourth Geneva Convention as well as under established international treaties on human rights. Preventing free movement of people and goods interferes with the right to work, the right to health, the right to education, the right not to be held as a prisoner without a free and fair trial.

Related Links

  • BY TOPIC: Gaza Disengagement
  • Palestinian Centre for Human Rights